Tag Archives: Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton

State of the Race: FBI THROWING WEIGHT BEHIND TRUMP

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pic:R.T.

By Steven R. Maher

It seems the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is going all out to elect Donald Trump the next President of the United States. By accident or design, the bureau has done four things in the last week to discredit Hillary Clinton and shift what may be an unstoppable momentum to Trump. The FBI has jumped into this campaign with both feet.

• On Friday October 28, 2016 FBI Director James Comey sent a three-paragraph letter to the Chairmen of Congressional oversight committees updating his sworn testimony on the original investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email servers. Comey said the FBI came across emails “pertinent” to the Clinton email scandal after seizing Anthony Weiner’s computer during an investigation of Weiner’s alleged texting to a fifteen-year-old girl. Weiner is married but separated from Clinton’s former chief of staff Huma Abedin. Comey said the FBI would investigate the newly discovered emails to determine if they contained classified data.

• On October 31, 2016 MSNBC reported that Comey had blocked the FBI from signing off on a report by U.S. Intelligence agencies that the Russians were behind the WikiLeaks dumps of Clinton Campaign Manager Joh Podesta’s email. Comey reportedly blocked the release because it was too close to the election. As MSNBC reported, their source stated “some government insiders are perplexed as to why Comey would have election timing concerns with the Russian disclosure but not with the Huma Abedin email discovery disclosure he made Friday.”

• On Tuesday November 1, 2016 the FBI posted on its website 129 pages of files on Bill Clinton’s controversial 2001 last minute pardon of financier Marc Rich. The FBI claims this was a mechanical functioning of the Freedom of Information Act response mechanism, and the documents were not posted to harm Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

• The FBI has been leaking like a sieve with highly critical leaks of Clinton. According to published reports, Comey reopened the Clinton email investigation out of fear that they would be leaked anyway, and to stave off a mass resignation of FBI agents.
Comey flouted two Justice Department policies: commenting on an ongoing investigation, and doing so in a manner that could affect an election. “We now have real-time, raw-take transparency taken to its illogical limit, a kind of reality TV of federal criminal investigation,” wrote Republican Jamie Gorelick, a former Justice Department official, in the Washington Post. “Perhaps worst of all, it is happening on the eve of a presidential election. It is antithetical to the interests of justice, putting a thumb on the scale of this election and damaging our democracy.”

Trump seized on

Not unexpectedly, Trump seized upon Comey’s reopening of the investigation to lambast Clinton as guilty of all sorts of sins. The campaign, which had been heavily trending towards Clinton, immediately began to trend towards Trump. States such as New Hampshire and Nevada, once considered solidly blue, are trending to Trump.

Clinton’s campaign has been putting a brave front on recent developments, saying they expected the polls to tighten during the past week, that early voting trends favor the Democratic nominee, and that the electoral map demographics are in favor of Clinton. But unless something dramatic happens during the next six days, the FBI will bear the responsibility for electing Donald Trump President of the United States.

THE WEINER FACTOR

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Vote Tuesday, November 8! Pic:R.T.

By Steven R. Maher

It’s the factor that every campaign forgot to take into consideration. It went unnoticed by the supercomputers and embryo artificial intelligence units. The finest political minds and most brilliant pundits didn’t see it coming. That’s the re-emergence of former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner, a.k.a. Carlos Danger, as a figure of extraordinary importance on the national stage. Americans will apparently have to get used to an R rating for their nightly news.

Weiner become a consummate figure of ridicule to liberals and conservatives after he resigned from Congress in 2011. Weiner was disgraced after he was found “sexting” to half a dozen women. This didn’t stop Weiner from making two runs for New York Mayor, and further scandals over an inability to control a self-destructive urge to text half naked pictures of himself to unwilling recipients. The media reported the FBI came across emails “pertinent” to the Clinton email scandal after seizing Weiner’s computer during an investigation of Weiner’s alleged texting to a fifteen-year-old girl. In May 2010 Weiner married Huma Abedin, a close aide of Hillary Clinton and her chief of staff.

Future generations are likely to talk of the “Weiner Factor” in the same context as “October surprise.” Anthony Weiner is the perfect symbol of all that is wrong with American politics – young people “sexting” without regard for the future impact on their lives, the low level to which political discourse has sunk, a country made cynical by the belief of both the Clintons and Donald J. Trump that they are entitled to special privileges not available to other Americans.

Significance unknown

For those of you who haven’t been near a television set this weekend, on Friday October 28, 2016, FBI Director James Comey sent a three-paragraph letter to the Chairmen of various Congressional committees updating his sworn testimony on the original investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email servers. As Comey knew, this was immediately leaked to the press.

In the letter, Comey said the emails were “pertinent” to the Clinton email investigation but “we don’t know the significance of this newly discovered collection of emails.” Comey said the FBI would investigate the newly discovered emails to determine if they contained classified data.

Comey’s letter set off a firestorm. Coming only eleven days before the November 8 Presidential election, it couldn’t have been better timed from Trump’s perspective. Overnight, the news cycle and trajectory of the campaign changed.

Why did Comey do this?

Three different theories have appeared on the Internet as to why Comey did this:

One theory is that Comey felt he inflicted damage on the FBI by refusing to indict Clinton in July 2016. Comey was trying to recover lost reputation by reopening the Clinton inquiry. This writer suspects this is the mostly likely scenario.

A second theory is that the FBI wants to stop further attention to WikiLeaks by having the Clinton investigation reopened. Since this theory assumes Comey was trying to do the Clintons a favor, with friends like Comey, Clinton would no longer need her vast legions of enemies.

The third theory is the Weiner probe turned up something so incriminating of Hillary Clinton that Comey wanted to cover his rear end by making it known before the election. This is possible, but highly unlikely. If anything, Clinton has been thorough in covering up her tracks. She erased and then bleached her hard drive to destroy 31,000 emails. It is inconceivable that Clinton’s best friend retained incriminating data on her home computer. Logic would indicate that such data has been completely erased long ago, if it ever existed.
Clinton and her surrogates have been angrily demanding that Comey release the documents referenced in his October 28, 2016 letter to the Congressmen. Would Clinton be doing this if she didn’t know there was nothing incriminating on her chief of staff’s computer?

What impact this will have on the election is unknown at the time this is being written. This columnist believes that it will undoubtedly motivate Trump supporters and the “Never Trump” enthusiasts to come out of the woodwork to vote. Watching Fox News while writing this, it was noteworthy that Fox was unable to find any Clinton voters willing to say they switched from Clinton to Trump. Most of them were aware of the latest controversy, but unwilling to change their vote because of it. As the pundits are so fond of saying, the shadiness of Clinton’s background may be “baked in,” i.e. already taken into account by voters.

However this comes out, Anthony Weiner is now a living legend. His twisted and apparently uncontrollable sexual desires destroyed Weiner’s own career, ruined his wife’s life, and may have changed the course of world history. There is no doubt the “Weiner factor” took the country as much by surprise as his text messages astonished the women who opened them up.

TRUMP DIDN’T CHANGE TRAJECTORY IN THIRD DEBATE

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Vote! pic:R.T.

By Steven R. Maher

While the debate performance of Donald J. Trump had clearly improved since the first two debates, Trump manifestly failed to change the trajectory of the presidential race, and reverse the historical tide flowing in favor of Hillary Clinton during the third Presidential debate. Trump needed a big win at the October 19, 2016, debate to expand his voter base. Trump didn’t get one.

The biggest winner of the night was Fox News’ Chris Wallace. Unlike the moderators overseeing the previous debates, Wallace didn’t abet Clinton. Rather than be drawn into disputing what either candidate said, Wallace went silent when he saw Trump or Clinton were determined to have their say. He adroitly pivoted to questions on new subjects without being either overbearing or unsubtle. It was a bravura performance by Wallace, one both Wallace and Fox News could take pride in.

Unanimous agreement

Both liberal and conservative pundits were in unanimous agreement on one point: Trump did enormous damage to himself by stating that he would decide after the election, whether or not to accept the legitimacy of the election results.

“I will look at it at the time,” said Trump. “I’ll keep you in suspense.”

On this, Andrew Breitbart, Brit Hume, Megyn Kelly, and Laura Ingraham of Fox News concurred with Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow, and James Carville of MSNBC that this was an egregious gaffe that undermined Trump’s entire debate performance.

This showed extremely poor preparation on the part of either Trump or his handlers. Whether Trump would accept the legitimacy of the electorate’s decision had been the subject of widespread speculation before the debate. Indeed, InCity Times published prior to the debate an online article disputing Trump’s assertion that widespread voter identification fraud would result in a “rigged” election. A question on the subject was inevitable.

One pundit pointed that Trump could have avoided this controversy by stating that he, like Al Gore in 2000, would feel free to call for a recount if the margin of defeat in a swing state like Florida was infinitesimal. No one could have objected to such a response. Instead, Trump gave the response Clinton was probably praying for.

Shoring up base

Trump, as happened in the first two debates, started out strong, and made his major blunders in the last half of the debate. His objection to the horrendous procedure known as “partial birth abortion” and 2nd Amendment rights likely shored up Trump’s dissipating base of Republican religious voters and gun advocates. Clinton did the same among pro-choice voters, stressing the torment felt by women who made the extraordinarily difficult decision to have an abortion. Clinton reiterated that she was not against the 2nd Amendment, but wanted to work to stop guns from getting into the hands of mass murderers who commit atrocities, like the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando Florida.

Clinton baited Trump, calling him Vladimir Putin’s “puppet,” and making other comments clearly intended to provoke Trump into making one of his thought-purging diatribes. In this Clinton was wildly successful, as Trump repeatedly spoke angrily, evoking the image of man lacking the necessary temperament to be President. Watching the debate, this writer half expected Trump to pull off one of his shoes and begin banging the podium in a fury, a la Nikita Khrushchev at the United Nations.

Trump spoke several times without thinking, as he demonstrated once again his ingrained prejudices towards women and Hispanics. Trump’s response to a question about immigration included this aside: “We have some bad hombres here and we will have to get them out.” When Clinton criticized Trump, the Donald snarled, “Such a nasty woman.”

The optics favored Clinton. She was more assertive than at the previous debate, smiling like Ronald Reagan when Trump verbally attacked her. Someone apparently forgot to tell Trump that the broadcast would show his face while Clinton spoke. He looked like the Saturday Night Live caricature by Alex Baldwin, grumpily grimacing as Clinton spoke, repeatedly blurting out the word “Wrong.”

In recent weeks Trump in his stump speeches criticized Clinton for spending so much time preparing for this debate. Clinton spent the time well, and was much better prepared for this debate than Trump.

Clinton’s to lose

This election is now Hillary Clinton’s to lose. As it stands now, Clinton – unless there is a massive hidden Brexit-like vote for Trump – will win with long coattails, likely carrying with her into office a Democratic Senate and possibly a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives. Unless she makes a stupendous gaffe, or a WikiLeaks download reveals something enormously destructive about her, Hillary Clinton will be elected President of the United States in less than three weeks.

Hoffman on FIRST presidential debate

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Vote! Our future depends on it! (Downtown Worcester mural) pic: R.T.

Hillary ran away with it!

By Jack Hoffman

Just about every pundit had some metaphor or analogous characterization of the (presidential) race to the finish line. Mine is very simple: If you have ever seen a horse race, the flower garland prize for the race in this case goes to Hill … . A five-furlong horse
usually starts in the starting gate and barely goes from the starting gate to the finish.

But a horse that has the “stamina” can go the distance, usually a mile or more and can wipe out that five furlong sprinter. That’s exactly what happened at the first Hillary-Trump presidential debate.

I remember in my Worcester Academy debating class 101 – we participated in several debates. We were usually graded on several things. Most important – our preparation. Donald flunked the course!
I got very nervous in the first 20 or more minutes of this race to the finish line. As we got going Donald seemed not to adhere to his advisors’ advice to lay off the name calling and act presidential. But it some how leaked out that he was absent from the set ups, where with one of his advisors pretending to act out Hillary and what she might say to him during the debate.

At the 1/2 mile post Hillary pounced on Trump. First, it was one of his many lies. Too numerous to mention here, but she wanted to start getting under that thin skin of his. So she hit him in the gut about his inheritance lie.

He did, in fact, get more than $14 million from his father. He never talks about the loan his father gave him for his casinos in New Jersey. That was before Donald actually stiffed his own father on the loan package when it went belly up. Donald’s father was already dead – “a stiff “! – when Donald stiffed so many. That’s not counting the $3.5 million buy his father made in chips to help the failing casino. Undoubtedly daddy Trump Fred was just trying to recoup some of his original loan money.

I wonder if some of Trump’s advisors told him it would be a split screen tv debate and he should keep his arrogant smiles, belying looks and more to himself? But most of all his constant interruptions. Now that was class?

Then came his taxes that he has lied about, and when Hillary raised the issue that he probably paid zero in taxes, just as he did in the latter 1970s, he responded,  “That was just being smart.”

Followed by his woman comments about fat, ugly and more.

He said: That was directed at Rosie O’Donnel.

Rosie called him “an orange asshole.”

Imagine Donny at a conference table discussing NATO with all its members?!!
Donny breaks away from the substantive issues that he doesn’t  understand and looks at Angie Merkel (Prime Minister of Germany) and comments on her weight.

Lisa Machado, who was a Miss Universe contestant at one of Donald’s beauty pageants, commented on what the Don said at the end of the event. He said to Lisa: “You looked like a fat pig” “and you better get a job as a hotel housekeeper.”

She is a native Mexican and a naturalized citizen of the U.S.

Maybe Donald couldn’t screw
her like he did so many…

I spent most of the day asking all kinds of people what they thought of the debate.

One volunteer said she doesn’t know how any self respecting woman could ever vote for him. I responded there are plenty of women out there who are truly subordinate to their husbands and their opinions, especially re: voting.

In this day and age that’s sad. I remember election days past in Worcester when I was growing up: My mother was handed a piece of paper with the names of all the Republican candidates on it that she was supposed to vote for. Ma couldn’t wait to get into her car and rip up that slip of paper on the way to the voting booth! She was a true woman – liberated long before it was fashionable.

Now I didn’t watch Fox, but I heard they were not that positiveabout the Donald. Probably Roger Ailes’ departure has changed Fox around the edges.

Interestingly, Ailes couldn’t get laid either!

He is now an aide to Donald.

I guess the birds all fly together…

I’m begging to hear from you Trump supporters! I dare you!

Decision time: Election Day! – November 8!

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Tuesday, Nov. 8 – GET OUT AND VOTE! pic: R.T.

By Edith Morgan

It’s time to “bite the bullet” and VOTE: decide who will be our next president. I have been a fully convinced supporter of Bernie Sanders and still support his ideas. But with the election less than a month away, it’s time to take sides.

This will not be the first time in my many years of voting that none of the candidates is a perfect match for what I would like to see in government, but this time, there is one choice that is, to me, utterly impossible, while the alternative is one that is at least amenable to reason and can be moved.

If “politics is the art of the possible,” then by his own words and deeds, Donald Trump has pretty much let us all know that he is unmoveable, knows better than the rest of us what to do in all cases, and will not follow advice from any of us. He has said he will practice revenge on anyone who attacks him, has the most simplistic answers (when he answers at all) to complex problems, and appears to believe that violence is the answer to all problems. But even more than those traits, what worries me most is his overbearing egotism and self-centeredness.

I was a refugee from Germany and always grow fearful when I hear talk from someone who spent a lifetime gaming our democratic system, using “the little people” and using all the tricks of the authoritarians that are so familiar to me. European history is replete with stories of the self-identified “supermen” who do not believe that the laws apply to them, that they are exempt from them, and can do what they desire. So, under no circumstances could I ever bring myself to vote for this bosom buddy of the evil Roy Cohn, and who employs the techniques athat many in my age group will recognize from the Joe McCarthy days.

I can not stay home on November 8, because I know, from having attended the State Democratic Convention and watched the National Convention, that we have succeeded in including in the platform of the Democratic Party many of the things we had been supporting. It will be up to us not to go into a coma after the election, but to see to it, by constant pressure, that our platform is carried out.

I know that neither I nor anyone can have any influence on Trump. But I know that Hillary Clinton can be moved – and I do not believe that the e-mails, Benghazi (so many of our overseas personnel were killed constantly before the Democrats were in power) and Bill’s transgressions are anywhere near to what we would get under Trump.

Beyond that, there are other things on the ballot – the 4 Questions and other races. As is often heard, “all politics is local” and the decisions that most closely impact us are closer to home.

The top of the ballot gets the most attention, but the rest of it affects us here in Worcester the most. So let’s pick and choose – but get there – and CHOOSE.

SECOND PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE WAS A DRAW

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Let’s be done with this shit parade!!! pic: R.T.

By Steven R. Maher

Donald J. Trump and Hillary Clinton both claimed victory in the second Presidential debate on October 9. Clinton didn’t score a knock out that ended the campaign that night. Trump didn’t hit a grand slam that would make his campaign unstoppable. This observer’s opinion is that the debate itself was a draw, but Trump, by shoring up his base, gained more from the encounter than Clinton did.

It looked like Clinton’s goal was to avoid a catastrophic error, not score a knockout. Trump’s performance was so superior to his first debate performance that by comparison he looked better. By throwing red meat to his followers (“You’d be in jail”), Trump shored up his base.

Debate backdrop

The debate took place against a backdrop of Trump’s campaign imploding. Three days earlier the Washington Post put online on a video of Trump, unaware he was being recorded, talking about how he groped women without permission, and was entitled to grabbing women’s sex organs uninvited by virtue of Trump’s celebrity.

Dozens of Republican Senators and Congressmen bailed out like rats on a sinking ship from Trump’s Titanic, tweeting out criticisms of Trump or calling on him to withdraw from the race. It almost looked like the party’s establishment had been waiting for this moment to withdraw their support from the embattled Trump, just when he needed it most. One was reminded of Franklin Roosevelt’s observation during World War II that Italian dictator Benito Mussolini had stabbed France in the back, after the Nazis had defeated the French Army, and Mussolini only then declared war on a beleaguered France.

This unseeming sight was such that Fox News’ conservative commentator Bill O’Reilly, a self-described “traditionalist“, derided the Republican deserters as “weasels.” Monday morning O’Reilly stated that Trump won the first third of the debate of the 90-minute debate, no one won the second third, and Clinton won the last third.

What Trump did right

What did Trump do right? He resorted to the politically incorrect excessive rhetoric that reminded his Republican base of the reasons they voted for Trump in the first place. He hauled in four victims of Bill Clinton’s alleged sexual peccadillos for photographing by the media prior to the debate, and then seated them prominently in the front row of the debate audience. He called Clinton the “devil”, said she would be in jail if he were President, and denouncing Bill Clinton’s philandering as worse than Trump’s “locker room talk”.

It was raw red meat for Trump’s supporters. They ate it up. Trump also showed leadership by saying before, during, and after the debate that he would under no circumstances withdraw from the race. This was enough to staunch the bleeding. Suddenly, the rainstorm of public defections of Republican Congressmen dried up. Knowing that hordes of Trump’s followers will materialize in large numbers on Election Day, Republican candidates undoubtedly did not want to antagonize potential Republican votes. They will probably await the next Trump blunder – a 3:00 AM tweet or embarrassing tape of Trump saying something best left unsaid – to abandon the GOP nominee.

The one discordant note the day after the debate came from Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. In a telephone call to GOP Representatives, Ryan told the Congressman participating that each one could take a public stance on Trump that would best benefit their campaign without fear of retaliation, and that he would neither defend Trump in public nor campaign for Trump. But Ryan was emphatic that he would not withdraw his endorsement of Trump. If Trump had performed as disastrously at the second debate as he did at the first, Ryan would have thrown Trump overboard without any further ado, sending Trump off to sleep with the fishes.

Clinton apparently went into the debate with a more subtle agenda. With Trump’s campaign imploding, it looks like she decided to judiciously say as little as possible, letting Trump damage himself by his own statements.

With her polls and popularity growing by the day, with Democrats solidly behind her, and the Republican establishment turning on Trump with a vengeance, Clinton may have decided to go for a stalemate and not risk her hard won frontrunner status. After what Clinton has been through in the last year and a half, Hillary may have concluded the safest thing was to get through the last two debates with a stalemate after her stellar performance in the first round.

On one point, this has proven an excellent approach. Clinton skillfully evaded having the post-debate news cycle being dominated by her husband’s sexual adventures by reminding everyone present about Michelle Obama’s advice to take the high road, and not commenting on the often troubled Clinton marriage. It was superb piece of maneuvering on Clinton’s part.

The parallax view

The word parallax is defined in various dictionaries as an event or object, which seen from different viewpoints, being interpreted totally differently depending on the vantage point of the observer. This phenomena was noted American sociologists by the dissimilar reactions of white Americans and Afro-Americans to the OJ Simpson verdict, or the contrasting responses to the tragic police shootings of African-American males. How events are perceived differently by Afro-Americans has sometimes astonished white Americans.

Men and women, due to their inherent differences and experiences, may have experienced the parallax phenomena regarding this second debate. During the debate Trump paced around the room, stood gripping a chair, or lurking immediately behind Clinton as she answered questions. It looked like Trump was invading Clinton’s personal space. Some of the female commentators stated they were creeped out by Trump’s lurking behind Clinton.

Indeed, Trump’s own campaign manager, Kelly Ann Conway stated in a post-debate interview with Chris Matthews, that she would know if Clinton had a bad night, if the media criticized Trump for standing so close to Clinton. Trump would have been well advised to return to his seat and sit until the next question. After all, Al Gore had done this once in 2000 to George W. Bush during a debate, and was widely perceived as trying to bully Bush, losing many votes in the process.

The key to this election will be the suburban woman voter. The same type of blowback Gore experienced may hit Trump for his behavior on stage, and if current polls are accurate, Clinton will win by a massive margin among this electoral cross-section. Seem from their perspective, Trump supporters saw a man who heroically threatened to put Clinton in jail, called her the Devil, lurked behind her in a threatening manner and saw Trump drag out her husband’s alleged sexual victims for public display like trophies. Seen from the perspective of female voters, with a lifetime of being discriminated against and being disrespected by the male chauvinists of this world, this might have looked like something completely different.

Green Island Grrrl’s take on Election Day, Nov. 8 … the presidential let down …

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This a.m.: Rosalie relaxin’ with mutts, Lilac … pics:R.T.

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… and Jett

By Rosalie Tirella

This holiday morning, hanging with the mutts at the shack, I decided to decide how I was gonna vote Tuesday, November 8. My viewpoint, the lens through which I see and navigate this crazy ol’ world, is liberal hippy baby boomer mixed with blue collar muster and grit, an ($$)impoverished Green Island childhood made brilliant and beautiful by my late mom and her inspired parenting style, six or so years in the Pioneer Valley (I’m a UMass/Amherst grad) – “commie country” to some – and several years of bouncing around second-rate cities in my younger days. Plus a sojourn at a hippie country commune when I was 19 or 20 – a jaunt that damned near killed my mom but made me a vegetarian for life – and 15 years of putting out InCity Times while living in  run-down apartments throughout Worcester’s  run-down ‘hoods. And dealing with all THAT SHIT. As you know, if you’ve been reading me …

So my perspective is UNIQUE, to say the least! Or to say the most – cuz I keep on writing for you!

Here’s what this Green Island Grrrl  plans to do Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 8:

* VOTE FOR HILLARY CLINTON for President.

Yeah, I like Hill less than when this horror show (aka “presidential” campaign) began, don’t really give a shit if she has a vagina, am less impressed with her personally – she IS gonna sell part of her soul down the Republican River. But I believe people like me have the most to gain by voting for Hillary Clinton. Women like me who want equal pay and control over their bodies: want to see abortions safe and legal for all women – never performed by money grubbing hacks in dirty rooms; neighborhoods like mine; cities like mine; families like the one I grew up in: the one my late mom headed as a single, minimum-wage earning parent; schools like Worcester’s: filled with kids from poor families, many of them hungry; kids from countries all over the world – kids in immigrant families just beginning their American story  … all of us above (most of America) have nothing to gain from the Republican nominee, the odious Donald Trump (Worcester has its own Donald – City Councilor Mike Gaffney – and he’ll come to the same crooked end-road as The Donald) and a fair amount to gain from Hillary Clinton.

Under Hillary, working families will see paid family leave; the minimum wage guy or gal (in America it’s mostly middle-aged gals) will see a modest increase in their paychecks; the environment will be safeguarded – even cherished; the Mid East may be stabilized; ISIS may be tamped down; the United States Supreme Court will be fair, thoughtful and wise – JUSTICE FOR ALL!; the LGBQT community will have all rights – same as all other communities.

Make no mistake: Clinton is a politician. She can be calculating. But there is compassion under that helmet-hairdoo! And intelligence and tenacity. America will be a smarter, stronger, BETTER COUNTRY with Clinton as our president!

Vote for Hillary Clinton!

Trump.  The Republican nominee. Trump, the petulant, the lost boy, the carnival barker in the almost empty tent…we’ve heard his shtick before… it’s grown old…we are walking out of the tent, shaking our heads. I watched part of the second presidential debate last night and actually kinda felt sorry for the tax-evading slob. Watching Donald lumber around that stage like some big old bear with buck shot up his ass, with the pathetic red power tie that seemed lost in his billowy blue suit … It was sad. A man who could have rode half of America  to the presidency … .

Our economic/ terrorist/ISIS/global economy/crime anxiety IS real! Many – so many of us! – are HURTING AND we want and need a president – like FDR – who can connect to our pain, speak, really speak, to us. Make our lives better. And The Donald seemed to get it. Reflect America back to America! (Just like Bernie did in the primaries!) Hillary and every other career politician kinda dismissed, glossed over our ACUTE pain. Pretended Americans’ bad, sad, scary feelings weren’t there! Because they are not of our America – they are out of touch political elites  who never ever have to worry about making that mortgage payment, finding that second job after you’ve been downsized at 50 years old.  SO MANY IN OUR COUNTRY ARE HURTING! IT DOESNT FEEL LIKE the America of our grandparents or parents – when we all pulled together to defeat the Great Depression and Adolph!

Donald didn’t know what to do with all our feelings! Hillary may …

So, Election Day I will vote for Hillary Clinton. Expecting good stuff. Not expecting great.

WE NEED GREAT.

Could Trump happen?

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Vote! pic: R.T.

By Steven R. Maher

The 2016 Presidential election has been one of the most nerve wracking in American history. Partisans on both sides are terrified of the consequences of the other side winning the election, predicting apocalyptic consequences.

If Hillary Clinton wins, Donald J. Trump supporters foresee an America flooded by hordes of job seeking illegal immigrants jamming our communities, the country bankrupted by massive new spending on health insurance, free college education, and illegal immigrants. If Trump is elected, Clinton supporters envision an America bankrupted by massive new tax cuts for the wealthy, large increases in military spending, new wars in the Middle East, the destruction of subsidized health, and a President who is “loose with nukes.”

“I do feel sometimes like this campaign has entered into an alternative universe,” commented Clinton recently on a late night show. It’s a sentiment many Americans share, as both candidates ratchet up the rhetoric in an attempt to find the other’s jugular vein.

Social issues

On social issues, both parties are equally scared of whom the other will appoint to the Supreme Court. Three hot button issues are particularly important: campaign finance, abortion and guns.

The pro-life community is petrified that President Clinton’s America would seek abortion on demand at taxpayer expense. Likewise many Clinton backers, while professing to support the 2nd Amendment, urge a tightening of access to guns to prevent some of the horrible gun massacres that have taken place. Clinton has called for the repeal of Citizens United, the disastrous Supreme Court decision that is polluting American politics with billionaire money. Republicans see Citizen United as leveling the playing field, giving wealthy donors the right to compete with Union campaign financing of Democrats.

Pro-choice voters are terrified that a President Trump would deprive a woman of her right to choose. This writer believes Trump, who was adamantly pro-choice until he ran for President, will do absolutely nothing to stop abortion. Changing abortion laws will be at the bottom of Trump’s to do list as President. Trump is right that law abiding Americans should be able to buy firearms, but like abortion, will do little to change existing laws to stop the mass gun killings. Trump rather brilliantly defused the Citizens United issue by funding his own campaign, something which played a big part in Trump securing the Republican nomination.

Demonizing each other

But the worst thing about this campaign is the extent to which each Presidential candidate has demonized the other. Clinton, who has never been convicted or been charged with a crime using her public offices, does not warrant being called “Crooked Hillary”. However, Clinton has opened herself up to ethical questions by setting up a private email server in her home and then eviscerating 33,000 private emails. If Nixon had done this to his White House tapes, he never would have faced impeachment. In this regard, Clinton, unlike Nixon, carefully covered her own tracks. It’s harder to tell which was the greater misjudgment by Clinton: setting up the private server to begin with, or her belief that the existence of the private server would not leak out, and cause her the enormous damage that it has. This plays into the Republican perception of the Clintons as unethical.

Much of Clinton’s transparency in revealing her tax returns – a must during the Democratic primaries – led to many of the questions about speaking fees, book deals, etc. Trump, seeing how the media went through Clinton’s tax returns with a fine tooth comb, has probably been wise to withhold his tax returns. They probably contain such election blowing secrets that Trump will never release them. In 1968 candidate Nixon released his tax returns even though they were being audited, the reason Trump now gives for not releasing his tax returns. Said Clinton running mate Tim Kaine: “If you can’t come up to the ethical standard of Richard Nixon, you should not be within ten time zones of being commander in chief!” Like Clinton, Trump is showing himself to be cleverer than Nixon.

Trump has been called a racist, a misogynist, and an authoritarian. Trump’s rhetorical excesses are largely to blame for this. “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists… And some, I assume, are good people.” This type of statement plays into the hands of those who denounce Trump as a racist, just as his past talk of women as “fat pigs” and “dogs” has opened him up to charges of being a misogynist. It’s not difficult to see why Trump’s praise of Vladimir Putin would lead some to believe Trump has authoritarian tendencies.

In terms of experience, both Trump and Clinton would bring to the Presidency experiences beneficial to the job. America will soon be facing enormous budgetary problems; Trump has been considerably parsimonious in building up a bureaucratic campaign organization and dumping vast amounts of money into television advertising. Trump has successfully run a billion dollar, multi-national company; his administrative skills are probably of the highest order, and Trump likely has superior negotiation skills. Clinton’s experience as a Senator and Secretary of State have given her a good understanding of how to build alliances in the legislative process and international arena, skill sets that would prove invaluable in a President.

Why is Trump doing so well?

Given that he has the highest unfavorability ratings of any candidate in history, why is Trump doing so well? It appears to be because Trump has given voice to the concerns and anxieties of a significant section of the American public on three very important issues:

• American has been deindustrialized during the past decade largely due to trade deals. Large masses of Americans have seen their jobs shipped overseas. Many of the jobs not shipped overseas are now being filled by what many perceive as being lower paid illegal immigrants. Trump has given them the perfect scapegoats: Washington bureaucrats and a wave of immigrants willing to work for far lower wages than the average American.

• Trump opposed more Middle Eastern intervention. Trump’s talk of allying America with Russia to take on ISIS in Syria may outrage the political elites. But most Americans would rather see Russians dying to stop ISIS, than the United States dragged into yet another Middle Eastern quagmire by itself.

• America is going through one of the biggest demographic changes since the Irish, Italian, German, Polish, and Jewish immigrants arrived in the latter half of the 18th century. As Trump talks of bringing jobs home and keeping illegal immigrants out, it is not accidental that his message resonates particularly among white male Americans, in an America that is becoming inexorably less white.

It may well come down to whether the number of angry white males supporting Trump outnumber the male liberals, women, Hispanics, and African-Americans supporting Clinton. As the days begin to dwindle down until the election, each candidate continues to chip away at the other’s base.

Pathway to victory

Pundits have talked recently of the difficulty of Trump’s “pathway to victory”, i.e., getting 270 votes in the Electoral College. Polling in Virginia and Colorado, two states which had been solidly Republican in the past, shows Clinton with leads Trump is unlikely to overtake. This means Trump has to take Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and North Carolina to hit the magic number of 270 Electoral College votes. Right now, polls show Clinton ahead in Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Clinton’s campaign apparatus to get out the vote is manifestly superior to Trump’s in these states.

Trump at any moment could make another disastrous tweet, or a TV attack that backfires the way it did with his verbal assault against the Muslim parents of an American war hero. The Russians could dump downloads of Hillary’s missing emails. Clinton’s superior ground organization could turn out the margin of victory on election day. The debates may be the decisive events in deciding the outcome. Right now, this election is anyone’s to lose.

Clinton thumps Trump in first debate

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Tune in to the Presidential debates, America! pic:R.T.

By Steven R. Maher

Hillary Clinton had to accomplish several things at the first Presidential debate on September 26, 2016. She had to look Presidential, provoke Trump into losing his temper, display a personality that didn’t turn off voters, and show what Trump called stamina, .i.e., appear in good health. In the course of 90 minutes Clinton did all these things.

The real winner of this debate may not be known until the polls close Election Day, November 8, 2016, exactly six weeks from today. Many pundits thought Trump destroyed himself in the Republican debates, only to see his poll numbers rise. So Hillary supporters shouldn’t celebrate too early. But the impression from this observer is that Clinton won on both style and substance.

Ahead on style

Joe Sixpack might not want to take Hillary out for a beer but economically, voting for Clinton may not appear so outlandish to some blue collar workers. Hillary did not make any outstanding gaffes, partly because Trump did not seize his opportunities. At one point the candidates were asked about cyber-security. Instead of leaping in and bludgeoning Clinton on her missing emails, Trump let the question pass. Likewise, Clinton stated that one of the reasons for the 2008 stock market crash was that regulators took their eyes off Wall Street. That would have been the perfect opportunity for Trump to zing Clinton on taking from Wall Street firms millions of dollars for giving speeches, but Trump inexplicably let the opportunity pass by.

The television screen split between Trump and Clinton played to Clinton’s advantage. Viewers saw a cheerful, smiling Clinton while Trump was speaking. They saw mostly a grimacing, grim and grumpy Trump while Clinton spoke.

The contrast of demeanors was extraordinary. Watching Trump, one was reminded of Richard Nixon’s 1960 debate performance, where Nixon sat grimly, his eyes shifting back and forth. Clinton’s smiling was similar to that of Ronald Reagan’s 1980 performance, where Reagan chuckled and smiled on camera when he was attacked by President Jimmy Carter. Reagan gave the appearance of amiability, which Clinton managed to replicate.

The optics thus favored Clinton, who kept up the façade of a happy warrior with one liners that set off laughter in the audience. “I know you live in your own reality,” said Clinton at one point. During the birther debate Clinton said to Trump in a response aimed at the television audience: “Just listen to what you just heard.”

Trump’s gaffes

Trump’s gaffes, while consistent with his performances in the Republican primaries, contained not only verifiable misstatements of fact (“fact checking”), but led Trump to say things better left unsaid. Watching Clinton detour Trump into several political blind alleys, one was reminded of the final scene in “Animal House,” where a character named “The Stork” directed a band into an alley. Trump was like the tuba player in that band, banging out the same old tunes while marching futilely against the wall.

Speaking of walls, Trump did not bring up his emotionally appealing (for some) plan to wall off Mexico. A few other things Trump did not seemed prepared for:

• At a time when he is trying to gain African-American votes, Trump should have avoided the birther issue as if it were Ebola. Clinton learned her lessons about the emails, making a slight confession and appearing contrite. Trump could have worded his answer concisely, used the elasticity of the English language to make a non-apology apology, appeared contrite, and then stopped talking on the subject. Instead he went on a rambling answer that probably did not win him any African-American votes.

• Whereas Trump hesitated to take advantage of several questions to, or answers from, Clinton during the debate, Clinton jumped in with both feet when Trump was asked about his taxes. Clinton detailed all the things Trump could be hiding by not releasing his taxes. We can expect to see this footage in Clinton campaign advertisements, as we can Trump’s statement to the effect that he was too smart to pay taxes.

• When Clinton brought up Trump’s statement that he hoped for a recession so that he could make great buys from bankrupt property owners, Trump stated, “That’s called business.” For millions of Americans, recession means the loss of jobs, bankruptcy and losing their homes. Most Americans don’t have the cash on hand to snap up good property buys when they’re out of work and just trying to survive.

Practice, practice, practice

Why did Clinton outperform Trump? The same way people get to play Carnegie Hall: practice, practice, practice. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said Clinton’s performance during the debate was “polished and well-rehearsed.” That was essentially the case. Clinton had prepared for the debate, with every smile, line and expression carefully rehearsed for the viewers. Clinton learned from her mediocre performance at the “Commander in Chief” what not to do. Without his teleprompter and advisers, Trump didn’t know when to talk and when to shut up, doing one when he should have done the other.

Trump would have been much better off if he had spent more time preparing for the debates. If Trump learns from this first debate, as well as Clinton did from the commander in chief debate, Trump can still make a comeback.

Ya gotta choose between Ex-Lax and Pepto!

By Jack Hoffman

This morning I received what I would say was a desperate call. As in political: “Holy shit, Jack! Did you see the latest CNN poll? It showed Hillary and Trump were in a virtual tie!!”

My response was: Big deal. Tell me something that’s realistic.

Like: How about the electoral percentages in the key states? One of the polls I was interested in was what’s going on in the Lone Star state, Texas. It has 38 electoral votes out of 270 to win. Last Tuesday one of the more popular papers in Texas,conservative Dallas Morning News, wrote in its first edition of the week that they would not support the Republican nominee, Donald Trump.

But it was the editorial the next day that shook many of their readers. “We recommend Hillary Clinton for President.”

Now why this deserves some of the following importance. Hillary and Donald are in a tie. And this is a state that hasn’t voted for a democrat since LBJ: And the paper hasn’t endorsed a democrat since FDR! The poll results tell us lots, including what some Southern states maybe thinking. Also, the fact that Mitt Romney won the state 57% to 41% for Obama. And what I think could be telling is the fact that Texas’ flower child Senator Ted Cruz who was insulted by Trump at the Republican nominating parties, has said “I will not support Trump.”

Is it possible that Texas, the hanging state, could go for Hillary?

I know they use poison now. Yippie! They just received a humanitarian award. But they still can walk around with their AK47s wrapped around their backs.

Maybe I’m dreaming? Note to Hillary: Get your money and ass down there. It could be the final death blow on Trump’s eventual grave.

Now for the dueling forum match, or shall we say, the premiere to the big debate later on. It was moderated by Today host Matt Lauer. I found Matty not so familiar with historic facts. For instance, Trump said he was against the Iraq war from the beginning. That’s bull shit and Lauer knew it and should have responded accordingly. Trump and Lauer continued on about Hillary’s e-mails and the possibility of her lying.

Like Bernie said, enough is enough.

I thought the Today wing ding was unfair, sloppy and even pure sexist. He continually talked over Hillary and allowed Trump to talk over him. The Donald was sarcastic as ever calling “the generals, who have been advising the president that “ “they have been reduced to rubble.” Some of these generals are still fighting in Iraq.

And once again Trump praised Putin as Russia’s strongman. Saying he would take Putin any day over Obama! And quoted Putin’s popularity at 86% of the Russian people.

Is Trump that naive?

To make such insulting comments about our president and praising Putin! I’ll bet the FBI has already begun a file on Trump.

A brief note why Trump won’t show his taxes: Simply put he pays no taxes!

It’s simple, he takes a loss on one of his properties and writes it off on the profits of others. It’s a little more complicated than that. Why don’t all these moderators that interview him ask has he paid any taxes in the last 10 years.

Enter an after forum conducted by one of my favorites, Rachel Maddow. An audience member gets up and asks a simple question: “Why did the president give all that money to Iran? We could have used it here.” Instead off debunking the question as completely false, she breezed over it wth a nothing response. I would suggest to those Fox listeners read the facts. It wasn’t our money. Just something else the media’s ignored in the full context. When Trump brings it up you would think the media would respond with the truth.

Don’t you think they have a responsibility to tell the truth?

They just like the controversy. It makes for good TV. The answer is simple. The World Court in the Hague ruled that the US had to pay back Iran’s money that we held since 1979. Don’t we believe in the law? Once again it wasn’t our money to keep. Rachel should have responded. But she just continued on with something about Hillary. My belief is that the media is still content on the dumbing down of its viewers.

Maybe it might take a few seconds more to explain the true story. I’m sorry but I guess I should apologize- it’s maybe to difficult for the audiences to comprehend.

I would like to hear from some Trump supporters!? I know you are out there!

Jack Hoffman Jackh5225@Verizon.net